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Portent

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  1,626 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
It is the near future and signs of an impending global disaster are multiplying. Earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions sweep the earth. As the storms and tempests rage, a series of ominous events signal the emergence of a new and terrifying force. While scuba-diving on the Great Barrier Reef a diver watches fascinated as a tiny light floats past him towards the surfac ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Pan Publishing (first published 1992)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Shawn Thornton
I love James Herbert but this one was not for me. I really enjoyed the description's of storm's and tsunami's but the story between these excellent action pieces just didn't hold my attention. You can't win 'em all.
Joe Stamber
Mar 01, 2011 Joe Stamber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011, mobi
I enjoy end-of-the-world type stories and this was no exception, almost worth 4 stars, but not quite. I have mixed feelings about JH, having loved his old horror novels when I was in my teens and early 20s (yes, I'm getting on a bit!), but losing interest when he started trying to be more serious and writing longer, wordier novels. This was the first book of his I've read for years, and has made me want to check out was he's being doing since we were last acquainted.
Siobhan
Oct 11, 2014 Siobhan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went so long between my last James Herbert book and this one that I had forgotten how much I loved his work.

To be honest, I should probably give my mother a massive thank you for that. Were it not for the fact that I harassed her for some of her older books she probably never would have found this little gem hidden away and it would have taken me even longer to get around to another Herbert book. In fact, I should probably go and pick up some more before I forget again.

Alas, I am running off
...more
Dreadlocksmile
Looking at the other reviews of this novel, I feel rather alone in not really enjoying it. I've read a lot of Herbert's work and feel that this is by far his weakest offering. Herbert has proved that he is a master of suspense and has an outstanding ability to create a truly dark and creepy atmosphere. Yet here Herbert seems to have by-passed such talents and put together a novel that seems to float through a thread bare plot that never really seems to develop itself. The ending just wanders int ...more
Patti
Jan 18, 2014 Patti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars

Not a bad book, just kinda repetitive. He spent probably half a dozen pages (small type, mind you) to describe Rivers moving along the moors. Alright, already, we get it!!

His descriptions of the events occurring was top notch; his interactions between Rivers and Diane were a little wonky. the end seemed to come out of nowhere.

I may try another of his books, since he's primarily known for horror and this really wasn't.
Elizabeth Nesbit-comer
He did his research. This book made me really think about what we are doing to Earth, though I must say that I was really taking the side of the planet in all of it's killings. There are way too many people doing way too many destructive things.
J.F. Penn
May 02, 2015 J.F. Penn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal
Not my favorite Herbert but some good bits including Mama Pitie and New Orleans dark occult stuff
Tex
Mar 24, 2017 Tex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
James Herbert's "Portent" is the story of climatologist James (Jim) Rivers, eccentric researcher Hugo Poggs, Hugo's daughter-in-law Diane, her two adopted (seemingly telepathic) Romanian twins Eva and Josh, and the leader of a strange New Orleans cult Mama Petié.

Even though it taps into the world of the paranormal it raises philosophical questions about the devolution of mans telepathic connection to each other as a result of evolution, and how that dormant power is used to understand the fragil
...more
Dark-Draco
Mar 26, 2013 Dark-Draco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, horror
Horror novels about serial killers or disturbed humans don't do it for me. Ones with scary monsters and supernatural events are usually a great read and might keep me awake in the dark. But this book? This book terrifies me!

In the real world, people face natural disasters all the time - the news is full of them - and this book recreates some of that helplessness in facing such force and being able to do nothing about it. But this book gives it a twist - there is a deadly purpose behind every eve
...more
Linda  Branham Greenwell
This book is about a weather specialist, James Rivers, who is on a search to find out why the Earth is going through an apocalyptic change. James first survives a plane crash that occurs while he is flying through Hurricane Zelda! It has been a very busy year for the Hurricane Center.
It seems that balls of light, sometimes one and sometimes many are "portents" to disastrous events. There is plenty of weather destruction in the book, from volcanic eruptions and explosions...hurricanes, tornadoes
...more
Bandit
Jun 01, 2013 Bandit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
On a quest to read Herbert, this book sounded interesting, different, but interesting. Either I really wasn't in the mood for it or I couldn't reconcile this one with what I've come to expect from Herbert based on the other books of his I've read recently. This is more of an enviromental thriller/drama with slight supernatural elements than a more traditional horror books by the author. It's got a moral, at times a bit heavy handed. It's got some incredibly vivid scenes of when nature attacks. N ...more
Adam Wilson
May 21, 2011 Adam Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Portent by James Herbert was a blast to read. I love disaster novels and movies, and this was a disaster novel like none other that I have read. Any kind of natural disaster that can occur on Earth happened in detail in this book. I read this book in two sittings and hated to put it down even once. The story is fascinating and Herbert’s explanation for why things are happening is worthy of Crichton in my opinion.
The only thing keeping this from five stars was the section before the ending which
...more
Brian Taylor
Portent was my first read by legendary author James Herbert. While I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more of his work, Portent was a mixture of good and bad for me with a direction that pulls readers all over the place while never really coming to a logical, and believable, conclusion. The premise seemed top notch–the world’s weather takes a turn for the worse and her citizens must scramble to understand why. It’s too bad Mr. Herbert seemed to zig when he should have zagged as the second hal ...more
thebonebreaker
Jan 13, 2017 thebonebreaker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first thing that struck me about Herbert's writing is his solid characters! He builds them up, quickly, only to kill them off!! Never have I gotten so rapidly attached to a character, only to have them not survive - crazy!

As for the book itself - it was a heavier read than I originally expected (it has a slow burn, behind the story itself), but I definitely enjoyed it and will be looking forward to my next Herbert book.

Also, my wife loves apocalyptic movies - with the right director, this bo
...more
Ruth Garlick
Have just finished one of the darkest, most gruesome books I have ever read – Portent, by James Herbert. This story is set when the Earth is destroying itself due to pollution. I think the story is supposed to raise awareness of what we're doing to our home, and possible ideas on what to do to help her live.
In the book, there are extreme and impossible natural disasters, such as earthquakes where there is no fault line. There are also psychic children who warn others by sending out white lights
...more
Tricia Riley
I was a bit disappointed with this book as I have enjoyed many of his other books. The book starts well but then it started to lose me with the whole evil cult thing. I found the ending inconsistent with the start of the book.

It is ok but is not one I would recommend.
Valentine Hayward
Jan 03, 2017 Valentine Hayward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Old but good

This book is dated in places for example talking about the French Franc Tec bot in some ways it also tells of tropical illnesses becoming more wide spread and global warming. Whilst not the fastest paced book in the world it is a favourite of mine..
I do like James Herbert and his death has left a gap in this British horror market that has yet to be filled (in my humble opinion).
His work is well thought out and has a broad range of cultures, my only bug bear is the women characters,
...more
Sridhar Babu
"PORTENT.."

CHARACTERS " JAMES RIVERS, DAINE,HUGO POGGS,BIBBY, EVA, JOSH and MAMA PITIE..


World is disturbed with Natural calamities..Where ever they happen whether it is great tidal wave destroying the Fort St.George(Grenada West Indies),Forest fire in New Orleans Louisiana, Falling huge rocks of ice over Harbor Freeway Los Angeles California..hot waterspout Varanasi India..people happen to witness a strange vision of a white light, a shape of a base ball shining in all these places prior to t
...more
Sasha
Jun 01, 2012 Sasha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I discovered James Herbert completely by accident,in ship's library - his "Nobody true" was actually genuinely interesting,original and enjoyable thriller told from a point of view of murder victim who is watching everything from above,unable to actually react or help anybody. Than I did some research and found that Herbert is actually very famous in UK and sort of local Stephen King,I read several of other novels by him but nothing left deep impression on me like the very first one.
Now again -
...more
John
Feb 02, 2014 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Having read a couple of James Herbert Books previous to this, I had developed something of a mixed view of the author. On one hand, here was a man capable of writing scary masterpieces such as ''The Secret of Crickley Hall'', but on the other hand was a man capable of writing a so called controversial (but bit of a garbled mess) book such as ''Ash''.
''Portent'' has done nothing to change my mind about Herbert and his work. The plot revolves around what is essentially a good idea. It involves the
...more
Samuel Tyler
Mar 10, 2015 Samuel Tyler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The great thing about horror is that you get the vicarious thrills, without the danger. Who really believes that giant rats will swarm out of the sewers or a knife fingered maniac will haunt your dreams? You basically know that you are safe, but what would happen if Mother Nature turned her ire onto the human population? This is the basis of James Herbert’s ‘Portent’, a book about how the Earth itself has taken the role of cleansing the planet of the human menace.

There is something far more fore
...more
Trisha
Jan 02, 2013 Trisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
De mensheid is te ver gegaan. De voortekenen van een naderende wereldramp razen met onvoorstelbaar geweld over alle continenten. Wervelstormen, aardbevingen, vloedgolven, vulkaanuitbarstingen - de laatste woeste stuiptrekkingen van een stervende planeet. Elke catastrofe wordt voorafgegaan door de mysterieuze verschijning van kleine bollen puur wit licht.

Evenals duizenden andere mensen ziet ook de Engelse klimatoloog James Rivers het stralende lichtspoor, dat hem met een hypnotiserende kracht na
...more
Gavin Felgate
This sci-fi/horror novel from James Herbert has a very apocalyptic feel to it, with the subject involving a series of natural disasters breaking out around the world, and these feature regularly throughout the book, usually ending in the deaths of characters who have only just been introduced. It's quite easy to see that the events of this book are evidently signs that the end of the world as we know it is near.

This, and the book's very obvious ecological message about how humans are destroying
...more
Ian Moore
Oct 07, 2014 Ian Moore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Second time reading this book although the first was many years ago. It has stayed with me to adulthood and is one of my all time favourites. The notion that the Earth is itself a living organism and that we, humanity, are the parasites that infect it to the point of it having to take steps to defend itself against us is just brilliant, and quite possibly holds an element of truth. If we look at climate change, natural disasters and events in the last ten years alone, that's when the shiver begi ...more
Ian Smethurst
For such a well regarded and respected author, I was a little unflattered by this.

First of all he seems to make a lot of mistakes, there are numerous confusing sentences I found, also a lot of sentences begging with "And" whether this is intentional or not, I do not know, though I found it jarring to say the least.

As far as the story goes, I considered it enjoyable and well researched James takes us to many exotic locales, and the events that take place in each of these are dramatic and, by and
...more
Dean
Jun 17, 2014 Dean rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not good. I have read a few James Herbert books over time, some good, some bad, but this was amongst the worst. Well researched, but horribly over written and padded out. Some of the dialogue is also painful to read, especially an interlude with a character in the Carribean.
My main problem is that, after reading 384 pages, nothing really was resolved. The main story of the disasters sweeping across the Earth was ongoing, the 'Dream Man' subplot was almost an afterthought, and the main villain of
...more
Brian McCusker
Very interesting and showed a lot of promise. It held my attention all the way through, though it just lacked that little something to make it really special.
A story of natural disasters and how and why they were being caused. The main character is a 'weather man' for want of a better term and an unlikely hero or plot lead. Also involved are a family with two young children who witness visions about what is going to happen.
The story reminded me of the start of Weaveworld by Clive Barker, but nev
...more
Billy Young
Jun 25, 2009 Billy Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt the end was a little over dramatic, a bit of an old B-movie ending. There were other things that i noticed that didn't quite gell, I mean the part about the Great Glen being the devide between the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland. Coming from Scotland I know this to be wrong and all it would have taken the author to do was look at a map. Some research would have prevented such a gaff. Why four stars then? Well this still was a good story, the characters strong and believable. The futuri ...more
Gooddeeds
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Mick
Dec 31, 2013 Mick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
***3.5 stars***

Well, this was my first James Herbert novel, but it won't be my last.

While the story was mediocre (environmental disaster stories just aren't my cuppa), his writing is pretty damn good, especially his descriptions of carnage, death, disfigurement, etc, which should work really well in what was the man's bread and butter: horror. I'll find out soon, as the next Herbert I'm reading is Moon.

As for recommending it, I do. As I said, the man was a good writer. But next time I choose a n
...more
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80984
James Herbert was Britain's number one bestselling writer (a position he held ever since publication of his first novel) and one of the world's top writers of thriller/horror fiction.

He was one of our greatest popular novelists, whose books are sold in thirty-three other languages, including Russian and Chinese. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his 19 novels have sold more than 42 million
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